Serving the People of Hawaii Since 1960
It Happens Every Day
John and Brenda live in the suburbs. Their kids, Mandy and Skip, go to "good" schools and participate in both academic and sports related activities after school.
That Skip has quite an arm on him but the thing that his coaches and teammates remark on most often is his humility, kindness and caring for others.
Mandy, although just 10, is conversant in French and she and her girlfriends use this as their "secret" language when they don't want others to know about the topics that cause 10 year old girls to break into fits of giggling.
John and Brenda are very proud of their kids and grateful for the type of life they are able to provide for them. John and Brenda work very hard to support their family and feel that the hard work really is paying off.
John works construction but also attends classes at night because one day he wants to be an architect.
In building from other people's designs he can see where improvements could be made and he believes he can really do this. It takes some time away from the family but if things work out maybe Brenda will be able to stop working as a paralegal and spend more time with the kids.
Brenda doesn't mind the hard work. The work gives her a sense of value and purpose. She is proud to be married to John because he really loves and respects her ... He calls her his "partner" and she "knows" he means it.
Both John and Brenda make sure that they are present for "games" and "recitals" and never fail to show up for parent activities at the kid's school.
Brenda's Mom is available when school lets out and is always there to pick the kids up and take them to their various activities and then collect them for supper with her and "Gampa".
Both John and Brenda's Parents had set solid examples of caring, loving, hard work and discipline as their kids were growing up. Now they feel as if they are being rewarded for this early investment of attention.
Tonight was a great night! "Gampa" and "Gramaw" met John, Brenda and Mandy at the steakhouse for dinner and then they all went to see Skip's football game ... and what a game it was.
Skip and his teammates were playing against one of the best teams in the State and almost beat them. Skip got "sacked" a few times but he always jumped up quick and began encouraging his teammates, especially his linemen. "That's O.K. guys!" "We got 'em!" "Come On, Let's Do It!"
The other team just wore them down by the fourth quarter but to lose, by a field goal, to one of the best teams in the State was really good.
Everybody was proud of the sportsmanship shown by all the players and Skip told his teammates after the game that he was really glad that they were his friends and that losing didn't matter because he knew that they had done everything they could to win and that he really loved 'em.
After Skip was finished cleaning up and getting dressed he joined everybody in the parking lot and it was decided that Skip "needed" some chili dogs and fries and that the rest of them would like some ice cream. Gampa and Gramaw followed John in their car, so they could meet them at the drive-in.
Everybody in John's car was singing Skip's school song at the top of their lungs ... laughing like crazy 'cause nobody knew all the words. They didn't even see the car run the red-light and crash into Brenda's door.
Gampa saw ...
Gramaw saw ...
Brenda was already dead by the time they got to the car ... Mandy died a few minutes later.
They say that Skip died on the way to the hospital in the ambulance.
John somehow held on long enough for his parents to get to Hawaii but died before they reached the hospital ... he never really woke up.
The drunk driver who ran the red-light was killed on impact ... He had 4 prior DUI arrests and was in the midst of a "normal" relapse at the time of the accident.
He had previously been to several outpatient drug "treatment" programs, graduating from 2, and had done a very short term of residential drug "treatment".
He was on what the treatment "industry" would call a "normal" pathway of recovery.
Thousands of taxpayer dollars had been expended to assist him with his "problem".
So ... what happened?
To answer that, I would like for you to read: The Selling of Relapse and the Price We Have Paid
This exercise is an attempt to educate about the risk and the cost associated with the shameless and misguided under-treatment of addictive disorders taking place in America today.
In communities all across America, today, losses just as horrifying in their suddenness and terrible finality will be experienced by unsuspecting citizens who think that they don't have a "drug" problem.
John and Brenda didn't believe they had a drug problem.
Skip and Mandy were good kids who had consistently refused to "experiment" with any of the substances that had circulated within their peer environment.
Gampa and Gramaw saw addiction as being someone else's problem and had even called the police when a new neighbor began to have an unusually large number of visitors at all hours.
They Did Everything Right!
In the end, they tragically learned that they were not safe from America's Drug Problem.
Too late they saw that they should have been more aware ... more involved ... more responsible for the manner in which their fellow citizens were being helped.
For this Country, at this time, "More" of the same kind of "treatment" that has brought us to this point is the last thing we need.
For this Country, at this time, "Real" Treatment is the only hope we have for dealing with the accelerating downward spiral of drug related social mayhem.
Treatment of an appropriate intensity and duration to really help these people find peace.
Treatment that is effective and responsive to the legitimate needs of the Patient and accountable to the community it serves ... or places at risk.
We ... none of us ... are safe.
We are all at risk.
In counting the victims of this terrible incident we truly have to include the drunk driver.
The core tragedy in all of this is that a treatment "industry" exists where such a person can be told repeatedly, at taxpayer expense, that "relapse is normal".
Those of us being placed at risk for loss, injury and death during these "normal" relapses need to speak up.
Enough is Enough.
Relapse is "NOT NORMAL"! That entire concept is unacceptable!
As long as we are "footing the bill", we refuse to "sit in the crosshairs"!
Any agency that feels free to play the "relapse is normal" trump card while their poorly served patients continue to rob, maim and kill the rest of us needs to start being held accountable for that clinical decision making.
If just one agency, applying a long practiced method of recovery assistance, is shown to be getting significantly better results than the spin drys and the fly-by-nights then the truth "is" known.
Any other agency refusing to conform its' operating policies to provide adequate levels of recovery assitance to its' patients, at that point, is making a calculated decision to decieve and defraud the suffering individual ... A deliberate action that places us all at risk of loss, injury or death during their Patients' "understandable" and "acceptable" episodes of relapse.
To learn more about realistic and common sense standards for evaluating the treatment services in your area and to start having your voice heard in how these agencies operate and are funded, with "your" tax dollars, e-mail me at the link below.
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